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Celing Leaking in Family Room


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I've read some of your other posts and I hope I don't come across as a complete bumbling idiot...but I'm not familiar with home repairs.

We have a leak in our family room which is located below the bedrooms. The leak in the ceiling to me looks like it has come from condensation from the air/heat vent. We have a tri-level home and our garage is located next to the family room and this vent. We also live in the midwest and have had a lot of high humidity.

There are no leaks in the bedrooms located above the family room. Does anyone know if the leaks would be caused from condensation from the air/heat vent? If so, any ideas on how we would resolve this? I cut out part of the ceiling over the weekend because mold is now starting to form. I have two little girls and I'm worried this is going to be on ongoing problem?

Any advice you could suggest would be wonderful!


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Yes, condensation on the air vent is a good possibility. We don't have a picture to get into specifics, but in general, all air conditioning ducts need insulation to keep condensation from forming on the cold surfaces. This is a job for a heating and air professional to seal off any air leaks and insulate the ducts. Then the wet/damaged ceiling will need to be replaced.

Good luck.

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In addition to that, sometimes the cold air cools the ceiling register to a temperature that is below the dew point of the air in the room, causing humidity from the air to condense on the register and drip. I have this problem myself. Assuming that the bathroom exhaust fan and kitchen range hood appliances are all doing their jobs properly, there are no natural gas appliances that are spilling fumes into the house (water is a product of the combustion of natural gas) and there is no issue with vapor intrusion into the house via the foundation, crawlspace, drafts, etc, I would consider that the air conditioner is not working properly. The AC has two jobs: cool the air and remove humidity. Often times an AC will cool just fine but will not remove enough humidity because it has a problem. In your part of the country as well as mine, you need an AC that's in optimal condition.

A home inspector that's at the top of his game may be able to pinpoint the issue for you.


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Where is the HVAC unit located? If it's in the attic you might want to get the condensate drain checked out. I inspected a home back in December where a condensate line from the attic HVAC unit that passes down through the walls below had cracked and the leak was showing up on the ceilings of the first floor and not the second floor.



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